Wisconsin's Great Lakes Shipwrecks - Explore Shipwrecks - Fleetwing
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The Fleetwing was characteristic
of schooners constructed in the Great Lakes shipping frenzy that erupted after the Civil War. She was built in 1867 in Manitowoc, Wis., by a 27-year old shipwright named Henry B. Burger. The staunch Fleetwing and other vessels built in Manitowoc helped the "Clipper City" earn its reputation throughout the Great Lakes as a premier shipbuilding port, specializing in fast and sturdy vessels for grain, lumber, and general merchandise. It also helped establish Burger's young shipyard, which still builds boats in Manitowoc today as the Burger Boat Company.

Frozen in for hull repairs in Sturgeon Bay around 1887, this schooner was identified as the Fleetwing. However, the Fleetwing is documented as having been built with two masts. The archaeological record is inconclusive about the addition of a third mast. Photo of Fleetwing

The finished Fleetwing cost $30,000. She had two masts, a 132-foot keel , 28-foot beam , and an 11-foot 6-inch depth of hold . The local press lauded the beauty of the new ship and her solid construction. The Manitowoc Pilot wrote,

"She sets very handsome in the water, has a clear run, and reflects great credit upon her contractor, Mr. Henry Burger, and the the force of men in his employ. Success to the Fleetwing." (16 August 1867)

 

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